When the final curtain closed and the theatre went dark for the last time this school year in the Signal Mountain High theatre, it also dropped the curtain on time for John Lennon to work with the theatre students at Signal Mountain. At the final school spring performance of the 80s jukebox musical Rock of Ages, Mr. Lennon was presented a check for $750 to help start a theatre program at his new school. He is leaving Signal Mountain Middle/High to begin the theatre program at The Howard School in the fall. The donation is from the Signal Mountain Middle/High teachers, students, and parents.
Lennon told us that he was leaving to start a new theatre program at Howard, it was natural for us to reflect on our own journey at Signal Mountain,” said Nancy Fell, president of the Theatre Arts Boosters. “The Signal Mountain community worked for many years to raise funds, volunteer, and support Mr. Lennon in the building of our theatre program and we want to support him in his new program.”
Students from Signal Mountain are sad to see Lennon move on but they shared a sentiment that theatre is for every kid and they look forward to seeing the great shows at Howard. The money will help The Howard School program to purchase necessary equipment for the tech crew in the theatre program. Maryville College has also donated costumes to get the effort started at Howard.
“Mr. Lennon built our theater program on student engagement and opened our theatre space to anyone who needed it,” said Ethan Fell, a sophomore at Signal Mountain. “He truly made us feel like we belonged while helping us learn all about theater. We will miss him so much, but I know he is needed and will make a positive impact not just in the school but the world.”
The Howard School and administrators in the Opportunity Zone are working with the community to plan improvements to the theatre facility at the school in anticipation of the exciting shows planned for the future.